Home > Library > Collections > Subject Guides > Philosophy
Your Academic Support Librarian 

Andra Fry

Telephone: 020 7955 7559

Email: a.e.fry@lse.ac.uk

Andra Fry


Our subject guide will help you find the best resources for your studies and research.

Books on your reading list

Use Library Search to access online resources and get classmarks for print material.

The Library is divided into a number of collections so make sure to note down the full location of the item you want. 

Course Collection

The Course Collection (1st floor) contains copies of essential texts from you reading list. These books can be borrowed for 3 days and renewed if no one else requests them.

Many of these books will be available as ebooks on Library Search. 

Most reading lists are now available via Reading Lists @ LSE.

Philosophy collections

Some key classmarks for philosophy are:

  • Philosophy, by period: B108 -
  • Philosophy, modern: B790 -
  • Logic: BC
  • Political philosophy, by country: JA84
  • History of science: Q124.6
  • Philosophy of science: Q173

The Lakatos Collection

Comprises most of the personal library of Imre Lakatos. He was appointed to the full time teaching staff at LSE in 1960. In 1969 he became Professor of Logic, with special reference to the philosophy of mathematics until his death in 1974. The collection was donated to the Library by his estate. It contains around 2,500 books, conference papers and journals in English, in Lakatos' native Hungarian, and in many other European languages. Most of the book collection is located on the 3rd floor of the Library. Items can be found on Library Search. Classmarks have the prefix 'Lakatos books' prior to the classmark. 

Specialist dictionaries and encyclopedia

Useful for quickly checking definitions, summaries of theories and thinkers. Key titles include:

  • Intelex Past Masters - classic works by philosophers and political scientists. Includes a collection of British Philosophy, 1600-1900 (Francis Bacon, David Hume, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke), books by continental rationalists (Spinoza, Descartes, Leibnitz), translations of Hegel, works on the philosophy of science from Darwin, Wittgenstein collected works and Kant Hauptewerke. 
  • Oxford Reference Online - contains several hundred dictionaries and encyclopedia. These include English and foreign language dictionaries as well as specialist works on social policy, social care and philosophy
  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online - features over 2,000 original articles from leading international experts across the discipline of philosophy. Each article links to a bliography, related articles, and other online resources.

Finding journal articles

Most of the time you should be able to find and access the articles you need through Library Search. However, we also provide access to powerful databases that can help you discover articles that are not available through Library Search, or even search engines like Google.

Use these tools to discover journal articles to further support your research. When we don't provide access to the full text of the articles you need you can request them through the interlending service

Top social science databases

  • Web Of Science - provides access to articles covering all aspects of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Many dating from the 19th century onwards. Also enables you to quickly locate highly cited articles in your subject area.
  • Scopus   - covers a wide range of science and social science subject areas. Abstracts and indexes over 20,000 titles mostly from 1996 to present. Quickly locate highly cited articles. 

Specialist philosophy databases

These databases focus more narrowly on philosophy. They can be used to supplement the general social science rsources listed above. 

  • Philosopher's Index - provides references to articles and book chapters published since 1940 covering all fields of philosophy including aesthetics, ethics, logic metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of science and social philosophy.

Specialist philosophy of science databases

  • History of Science, Technology and Medicine - cross searches the Isis Current Bibliography in the History of Technology, the Bibliografia Italiana di Storia della Sciencza and the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.  


Many newspaper websites offer free access to the latest headlines and stories. We provide you with access to searchable back files via the Library subscription services listed below:

  • Nexis  - contains the full text of a large number of UK and foreign newspapers most  from 1980 onwards. Updated daily.
  • Factiva  - has extensive English language and foreign coverage. Emphasis upon business and trade news.
  • FT.com  - register with your LSE credentials and benefit from our institutional access. Enables you to consult special reports, set up alerts and create lists of press clippings that you can share with others.

Historic newspapers

  • Gale NewsVault - cross search a number of leading historical collections including the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers; 19th Century British Library Newspapers; 19th Century UK Periodicals.
  • ProQuest Historical newspapers  - includes the full text of the Guardian 1821-2003 and the Observer 1791-2003. Later issues can be accessed via Nexis

Television news

  • Box of Broadcasts (UK Access only)  - a streaming TV service. Access TV and radio programmes from over 60 channels. Includes BBC TV and radio plus 10 foreign language channels. Content is from 2007 onwards. Transcripts are available for TV and radio news programmes.

Archives and special collections

Archives and special collections hold a number of key collections relating to philosophy. They include personal papers from a number of leading philosophers:


Current research

  • ArXiv - open access to eprints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and statistics.
  • Cogprints - self-archived papers in philosophy and other areas, covering mind, language, knowledge, science and logic. 
  • Zetoc - use this service to set up alerts and receive tables of contents from your favourite journals. 
  • PhilSci Archive - an electronic archive for preprints in the philosophy of science. 


  • Dissertations & Theses Global - an online database containing the full text of thousands of PhD from universities worldwide. It includes references to all UK and Irish doctoral theses produced since 1715 with full text content where available. If an item you need is not in full text online, you can place a request for it via the Interlending option on Library Search.
  • LSE Theses online - contains many full text LSE PhD theses. Older items that are not available online are available in the Library.